History:Getting Rid Of Featuring Artist Style
Getting Rid of Featuring Artist Style
This page tries to sum all problems of and possible solutions to the FeaturingArtistStyle.
Problems with the current Guideline
The current FeaturingArtistStyle has a couple of severe issues. This section should identify them:
- Storing artist information as a section of the Title field is incorrect.
- The Title field should contain a track's title.
- The Artist field should contain a track's primary artist. The primary artist can be a Person, a Group or a Collaboration.
- Any other contributors should be stored as Relationships to the track.
- Currently "(feat. xxx)" can mean one of several things:
- The "feat" artist is providing guest vocals on a track. (eg. http://musicbrainz.org/track/c1b2cea4-b493-4768-acf5-6948a4fe522b.html)
- The "feat" artist is providing guest instrumentation on a track. (eg. http://musicbrainz.org/track/9fa53a14-1028-4e84-8eab-cf1814c38a9e.html)
- The "feat" artist is a primary collaborator on a track. (eg. http://musicbrainz.org/track/ff0df0ce-d49d-491d-9247-1aa2fa0c6df1.html)
- The "feat" artist is a composer of a track. (eg. http://musicbrainz.org/track/9bbe8738-32bd-41e9-acec-bfac9ae62947.html)
- The "feat" artist is a co-producer of a track. (eg. http://musicbrainz.org/track/6db39d74-12c5-4eb7-b4f8-e73d7a97c5d0.html)
- Unless the featured artist is added as an AR *in addition* to the text in the title field, there is no way to track at a database level guest performances, collaborations, etc.
- A search for A & B doesn't list artists that have tracks Track Name (feat. B).
On the other hand the current Guideline is not completely void of sense. the pro's for it are:
- The hierarchy between the CoreEntities Artist-Album-Track is kept (well, at the expense of one artist being completely dropped out of this hierarchy). Most media players categorize tracks this way.
- This presentation of the 'featuring' artists is often done in this exact format on the real world tracklisting.
This section should help to get a clearer picture of the proposed solutions and their pros/cons.
- Change the style guide. Strawman: When two or more artists collaborate on a track or release, file the track/release under the primary artist, and then add Performance relationships to the secondary artists. If no artist can be considered secondary, create a new artist in the form 'Person A & Person B' and add the artists as collaborators.
- Pros: Removes cruft from Title fields. Stores richer information (what did the secondary artist perform?) Creates a more relational and future-proof database. Requires no coding changes.
- Cons: Secondary artist information will not be added to ID3 tags. Current website design doesn't give visibility into relationships attached to Tracks. Current website design to add members to a Group is clunky. Increases number of "Artists" in database to include more collaborations.
- Continue without changing the style guide until Picard can deal with giving users options on how they want AR data applied to tags.
- Pros: Requires no changes to anything now.
- Cons: Will compound the current problem. Will make it harder to switch to a "correct" approach in the future.
- Store all performance roles with AdvancedRelationships of the PerformanceRelationshipClass.
- Pros: This is a more "correct" approach.
- Cons: This requires a massive change to the database schema, the server and APIs in currently-shipping tools.
Now we would need to describe these proposals in detail and then sum up all arguments for and against them.
Discussions like this often get confused because of referrals to anonymous and generic items such as Artist X and Track Y. It might be worth pointing to actual albums in the DB and showing how different methods would treat them.
Judgment Night Soundtrack (An album consisting entirely of collaborations)
This album has the concept of bringing together a 'rock' and 'rap' artist together to collaborate for each track e.g.
Track 1: "Just Another Victim" produced as a collaboration by Helmet (a 'rock' group) and House of Pain (a 'rap' act)
The current state (as of 20th Oct 05) follows the styleguide exactly and renders this as:
Track Name: "Just Another Victim (feat. House of Pain)" Artist: "Helmet"
The rest of the album in MB follows the same format with the 'rap' artist feat.ured in the track title.
My (bawjaws) preference would be for:
Track Name: "Just Another Victim" Artist: "Helmet & House of Pain"
This collaboration would then be listed as a collaboration via AR for both artists e.g. "Helmet collaborated on Helmet & House of Pain"
Advantages for this case remaining as is now:
Advantages for this case if SG5 was changed: